Take a quick scan of the full-size luxury segment and you'll no doubt notice a number of fine specimens. But while so many of these models are pleasing to look at, their delicate sensibilities get the better of them when push comes to shove, and their utility (or lack thereof) plays second fiddle to striking, if not superfluous, styling.
The 2018 Lexus LX takes a different approach. With the LX, Lexus engineers hold firm to the belief that drivers should have their cake and eat it too, that a luxury full-size SUV should be both striking and capable. The only question the 2018 LX asks is: Just how hungry are you?
Powertrains and Performance
We don’t often associate brute force with beauty, but one drive in the 2018 Lexus LX and perhaps you will. That’s because the LX is powered by beastly 5.7-liter V8 that creates a glorious 383 horsepower and 403 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard, as is a full-time four-wheel drive system, complete with hill start assist, crawl control, and a driver-selectable multi-terrain system. But here’s the beautiful part: it can tow up to 7,000 pounds. The LX earns a modest 15 mpg combined (13 city, 18 highway).*
Features and Trims
Starting at $85,380,** the 2018 Lexus LX comes with a veritable treasure trove of high-end standard features and equipment.
The LX comes available in either the base two-row or available three-row version. Both come with 20-inch alloy wheels, full LED exterior lights (automatic and adaptive LED headlights, foglights, and taillights), a sunroof, a roof rack, a power liftgate, tow hitch, and keyless ignition/entry. There’s also a height-adjustable adaptive suspension that adds to the LX’s off-road capability.
Inside, the LX boasts four-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, wood trim, heated power front seats (10-way driver, eight-way passenger), driver memory functions, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Now that we’ve caught our breath, the LX also features a rather convenient 60/40-split reclining and power-sliding second-row seat (a power-folding third-row seat in the three-row model), and a 120-volt power outlet located in the cargo bay.
Beyond that, the LX’s technology offerings are just as impressive (and exhaustive). Here you’ll find an advanced infotainment system which pipes through a 12.3-display, a rearview camera, a 360-degree surround-view parking camera system, a navigation system, voice controls, and the Lexus Enform® suite of smartphone-based services.
With such an extensive list of standard features, it’s hard to imagine additional options and packages, but there are. A Luxury package adds heated and ventilated front seats, a cooled storage bin between the front seats, heated second-row seats, a heated steering wheel, extended wood trim, upgraded leather upholstery, and a slim credit-card-like key fob.
There’s nothing “soft” about the LX’s exterior. It forgoes the curves and rounded edges of crossover SUVs for a more bold and boxy design. And it works.
The LX’s look is very appropriate, and one that is sure to resonate with buyers searching for something that is both rugged and refined. Its boxy design also reflects its formidable off-road ability, something that is sure to please owners looking to do more than shuttle to and from the country club.
A dash of flair can be seen up front in the form of Lexus’ spindle grille, which lends a degree of elegance and athleticism to the vehicle’s overall design, while the rear bumper has been livened up with a stainless-steel accent. Large running boards add even more visual appeal, while simultaneously helping passengers climb aboard.
Inside, the LX truly impresses, with enticing interior material quality and room for up to eight passengers in the three-row version. Occupants will enjoy an abundance of leg, shoulder, and head room regardless of where they sit. Four-zone climate control is standard and helps keep things comfortable.
The 2018 Lexus LX features a robust list of standard safety features, including antilock brakes, traction control, stability control with trailer sway control, active front headrests, front seat side airbags, front knee airbags, second-row side airbags, and full-length side curtain airbags.
The standard Safety System Plus adds a number of welcome features as well. These include pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, all-speed adaptive cruise control, and intelligent high-beam control to the Lexus pre-collision safety system. That system is especially impressive, and one drivers are sure to appreciate because it automatically tightens the front seatbelts and primes the braking system if a collision is deemed imminent. The system also initiates automatic braking if necessary. Blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert both come standard.
Finally, the 2018 LX also comes with Lexus’ Safety Connect emergency communications with automatic collision notification, stolen vehicle location, an emergency assist button, and enhanced roadside assistance.
The 2018 Lexus LX is a heavy hitter among full-size luxury SUVs. Blessed with brute strength and sophisticated handling, it’s capable of getting the job done even when the going gets tough—all while lavishing occupants with its many premium comforts.
* 2018 EPA-estimated ratings. Actual mileage will vary.
** MSRP does not include delivery, processing and handling fee of $1,195. Excludes taxes, title, license and optional equipment. Dealer price will vary. Does not include accessory options installed by dealer.
Image credit: Lexus